Pepsi announced that by 2014 it will reformulate its products sold in the United States to reduce the amount of a cancer-causing chemical called 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MEI. The chemical is used to give caramel coloring to products such as colas, soy sauces, beers, breads and coffees.
A 2007 study funded by the National Toxicology Program found that laboratory mice who were constantly exposed to 4-MEI developed lung cancer. The study prompted California last year to ban the chemical in products sold in its state. In response, Pepsi modified beverages sold in California to comply with the new state regulations. Coke has already removed the chemical in its drinks.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not immediately support the ban, citing that the amount of 4-MEI given the mice is equivalent to a human consuming 1,000 cans of soda a day. The American Beverage Association also conducted a review and did not find the substance to be dangerous. However, the FDA has since announced that it is reviewing whether products containing 4-MEI should be regulated.
Pepsi is strongly refuting claims that its products are unsafe. “The safety of our products is PepsiCo’s top priority, and we abide by the regulatory guidelines everywhere we do business,” the company said in a statement. “While we meet strict FDA guidelines, when the regulatory requirements changed in California, PepsiCo moved immediately to meet the new requirements and, in order to maintain a harmonized supply chain, globally committed to rolling out the changes across the U.S. and internationally.”
Source: Headlines & Global News